Daredevil Aron, from Indiana, left his job as a mechanical engineer in 2002 in order to pursue his dream of climbing mountains, a lifelong hobby.
But in 2003, while canyoning in Utah, he fell down a canyon and trapped his arm under a boulder.
Having not told anyone where he was going, Aron survived for 127 hours by drinking his own urine but eventually, after failing to extricate his arm, he was forced to amputate it with a dull knife, to free himself.
His extraordinary experience was documented in his best-selling autobiography, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, which was later made into the Oscar-nominated film 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle. Aron, 35, now works as a motivational speaker.
||Why did you decide to take part in the show?
||Because I enjoy all types of wilderness, even in solitude. And I like testing myself in situations with real consequences, where I have to adapt to the environment, and maybe even discover something new about myself. This time I wanted to come back with all my bodyparts!
||What did you learn from the experience?
||There was less of a sense of urgency in this experi¬ence compared to being in the canyon, where I knew I had to cut my arm off and get out. Otherwise, I was standing in my grave. The most challenging part of my time alone on this island was the combination of my loneliness at being away from my wife and our toddler son, compounded by my fatigue and frustration in the aftermath of a storm on the second night. I almost quit, until I found renewed motivation by thinking about my loved ones.|
||What did you find the hardest about your experience?|
Being stranded on a desert island not only forced me to quickly learn new skills such as gathering water from trees, but it also helped me to understand and appreciate the irreplaceable value of time with my family and my friends back home including my son, Leo.
Sleeping bag and liner; travel pillow; treated mosquito net; poncho; cooking set; 1 litre water bottle; waterproof canoe sack bag; head torch; batteries; cutlery set; leatherman; mosquito repellent; sun cream; 1 litre water; 1 large handful of rice; lip balm; hand gel; light sticks; whistle; camera cleaning kit; waterproof notebook; pencils; pencil sharpener; pens, mini sharpie; toilet paper; baby wipes; toothpaste; biodegradable shampoo; anti-malaria medicine; iodine.
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